Family wants public to watch dashcam of 11-year-old’s fatal crash with deputy

Posted at 10:48 PM, Nov 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-05 22:50:34-05

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. -- It has been 23 weeks since Norman Hood died after a Calhoun County deputy hit the 11-year-old riding a minibike.

Michigan State Police have released dash camera footage from the moment it happened on May 28. Much of it was blurred by MSP as a redacted version.

FOX 17 obtained the video from the Calhoun County deputy’s cruiser through the Freedom of Information Act.

Hood's family requested FOX 17 show as much as possible so the public can see what happened to him that night.

According to MSP, the deputy was traveling 66 mph in a 30 mph zone. The law enforcement officer was en route to an emergency call but did not have emergency lights or sirens on when the collision happened.

Michigan law allows officers and deputies to travel faster than the speed limit while responding to an emergency call.

The prosecutor declined to to press charges because charges could not be proved beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, family believes charges were warranted and spoke to FOX 17 following the release of the dashcam footage on Tuesday.

The family argues that Norman did not veer in front of the cruiser, as described by the prosecutor. Instead, they describe Norman's actions as crossing the street diagonally.

Additionally, relatives say Norman was familiar with that stretch of road and would have only crossed the street if he believed he would clear it.

"There is no way you can miss it," said Regina Hale, Norman's sister. "It is to show that the officer could have prevented himself from hitting my brother if he was doing his job correctly."

Regina and her sister Neveah Hale saw the unedited version of the dascham footage weeks ago. From what they remember, they could clearly see Norman's body hit the hood of the car then land 20 yards away from the deputy's cruiser.

"They see a blur," said Neveah Hale. "What we see is our brother gliding across the concrete like it was ice, like it was nothing. He was like, an object."

"No one should slide across the concrete like that," said Regina Hale. "He literally slid across the street."

Neveah and Regina Hale believe that Norman's chance of survival could have been improved had the deputy tried to perform life-saving measures. According to video, CPR and resuscitating measures were not done in the minutes prior to the paramedics' arrival.

"He didn't treat him like he was a human," said Regina Hale. "He didn't look for a pulse. He didn't do CPR. He just flashed a light in his face."

When asked if relatives believe the deputy's speed resulted in Norman's death, they answered yes. They also believe Norman would not have tried to cross the street if the deputy's emergency lights were on.

"He saw my nephew," said Norman's aunt, Jusstina Latta. "He just didn't care or he wasn't paying attention."

The family is now suing Calhoun County but say even if they are successful in court, it would not bring any sense of healing to loved ones.

"It just doesn't matter how much money you give us," said Neveah Hale. "It's never going to bring my brother back. It's never going to fill the hole in my heart that he is gone."

The family also plans to file a complaint with the Attorney General's Office over the fact that charges were not brought. The civil suit is still pending.

Editorial Note: After the original story aired on broadcast, the Calhoun County Sheriff's Office called to inform FOX 17 the deputy is no longer on staff with the department.